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January always feels like a whirlwind to me. I secretly ache for it to slow down – after the holidays and a year completed, I want to rest, not prep and declare. To make room for gentle transition into new intentions less captured and contained, to observe rhythms and orient, and to respond to the cold winter days that whisper like a lover, Come back to bed just awhile longer, it’s still dark outside, what’s the rush?

I have yet to have space in January like my body and spirit dream for. Perhaps, you can relate.

The whirlwind is a beautiful mix this year, though. Rich inspiration and connections in the midst of full days. Helping manage a couple of covert creative projects behind the scenes (more on that later). A new creative business accountability partner who I meet with every two weeks (I so need measures of accountability to keep my watery/air nature grounded and focused). Collaborating on paintings with my fella. Preparing welcome materials for my Embody You mentees – we begin in a few weeks! Piecing together content for Spectrum, where I get to share my passions and shine light on the connections between body and creative process, with nature as my compass… it is work I love, and when I let myself get lost in it, it actually elevates my energy in the moment.

What doesn’t is sitting at the computer to get it all done. And that is a huge chunk of it right now. So I’ve taken to picking up my pen, paper and index cards a bit more in the initial stages. Focus when the laptop opens. And practicing consciousness about mindless tech use and social media time helps.

And, most importantly, I have to commit to time in my own art practice. Meaning, saying no to other things, putting other project fodder away, and scheduling it on the calendar when necessary. Dates with the quiet and my brushes. It is self-care. It is part of what keeps me sustainable and oriented to all of my other needs, physically, spiritually… it de-clutters my cognitive clinging.

Because there is just something pure about coming to the pages of my practice.

Last night, for the new moon, I turned off the noise and shut the devices, and began this page in a fresh journal. A lot of people work with blank page fear – I seem to get a little hung up on starting a new journal… interesting to notice and play with.

The truth is that the only way to begin is to begin. For me, last night, that meant just pure expression in color and stroke. Nothing complicated and no expectation for results. And it felt so good to remember it can be that simple.

Even without a plan or lots of time, fancy supplies or a goal for the practice, when I see it I feel that sacred connection to my own special lens of reverence and becoming.

Now, when I flip to that page as I fill this journal with my journey, it will course correct my mind and attention back to the call of my soul, which has nothing – and everything – to do with the whirlwind of busy {January} days.

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My beautiful new journal was handmade by a sweet artist and one of the contributors for Spectrum – Katie Ryan! I love it because it has thick, beautiful mixed media paper just waiting for my wet layers, a hand-painted fabric cover, and the signatures are sewn in with such love. Plus, I personally get this feeling of connection with all creatives by carrying around a journal for my own practice made by another artist. You can purchase your own custom handmade journal from Katie at her etsy shop right here!

journal from katie